I think that Mr. Schmidt’s quote is a very self serving one, especially since he is in the information business. The same view is shared by the people who think that the police should be allowed to search people without warrants. Their logic, the same as Mr. Schmidt’s, if you have nothing to hide it shouldn’t be a problem. I have certain rights, one those is the right to privacy, regardless of the reason.
As far as the loosening of privacy controls, our reading assignment tells us that the future will belong to the companies who can compile massive data bases with the help of user input. Which puts us all at a disadvantage as companies will require us to part with more and more of our personal information in the future. When you sit back and think of it, how much of your life is already on Face Book for all to read, and how many times has Face Book changed their information sharing policy over the last few years revealing more and more about us.
Some of the privacy issues can be directed at large companies, but a lot of the issues can be traced back to the individual user. How many of us unwittingly tell the world where we live, where we work, when we go on vacation, who our friends and family are, and how to find us. If someone wanted to rob you or do worse most of us could easily be tracked down.
There are certainly external issues that need to be watched, but we also have to take into account our own actions and what we can do to prevent too much information being left out there.